Washing the World: TRC Offering

To mark the release today of the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in honour of the best in all of us:

Washing the World


In the dark

in the bitter wind

listen to a dream

in which grandmothers stand

shoulder to shoulder, on the rim of a hill

and bend as one, and grasp one thing together


ask them, in the dream world, why

do they cry… and they will show you in reply

their shawls of many colours, spread these wings

sweep you in and teach you how to wash the world



from one dawn to the next

remember the fallen

mourning for the broken

wailing for regrets

love lost, wrong words, wrong actions

unbalanced moments and all the cracks

between heart and heart, parent and child

lover and beloved friend, nation and nation

creature, and creature of another kind


for what we choose and what we neglect to choose

for what we wish we’d known

for the hand unclasped

the tongue unbridled

the whisper falling short of heard

the bread far from the hunger

the apology

the confusion

the broken road


these things we gather in this blanket

brown and sand and beige

and we wash the world, between us

we hold this blanket, fill it with our tears

and when we have cried

from one dawn to the next

then we rise, and we dance

cradling this ocean, bitter healing, dark


let them lay your hands upon the truth of beauty lost

heavy, soft as moss


this blanket full of tears and dust and dying

becomes, as the light is returning

the promise

washed clean

by our sorrow


not so much redemption

as the logic of seasons

calls for justice, to restore the rhythm

one day, the lawmakers must exit their echoing halls

fall in with the grandmothers


carrying it

cried clean


light through their bodies

translates to rainbows upon the land.


All My Relations






One Comment Add yours

  1. Mary-Ann says:

    Thank you Anna Marie, Again you have spoken into my soul and left it richer…..


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s